Nat’l Security Council exec mulls banning TikTok for those in security sector
MANILA, Philippines — National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said on Saturday that banning TikTok among government officials and employees in the security sector should be seriously taken into consideration.
The matter was raised during the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City, as the official was asked about the app’s ban with India cited as one of the countries where it is prohibited.
“In the need for us to be more security conscious — we know for a fact that there are information operations, psychological warfare, and other stuff being done,” he said.
Malaya mentioned that they will probably discuss it with the National Security Adviser on whether the Philippines should take the step or not, as it might cause a backlash among Filipinos for seeming like a curtailment to freedom of speech and expression.
Moreover, the official clarified that in case the banning will prevail, it will only be for the security sector, such as the armed forces, uniformed personnel, and other intelligence entities of the government, particularly the National Security Council.
“I would think that we should seriously consider [banning TikTok] for the security sector alone — not for the other civilian agencies of the government which are not part of the security sector. And precisely, the reason is for operational security,” he added.
Tiktok, a mobile application from China-based ByteDance, was first banned in India in 2020.
In the same year, former US President Donald Trump threatened to ban the application, accusing it of spying for China.
Last March 2023, the US government once again raised concerns about TikTok, pointing to risks to sensitive data and national security.
US government workers, as well as civil servants in the European Union and Canada, are also prohibited from installing the application on their phones.